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Pregnancy: Resistance Exercise For Women Recommended During This Time

First Posted: Nov 04, 2015 10:02 PM EST
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Researchers have found that resistance activities, along with mild physical activities such as swimming and walking, can help pregnant women relieve symptoms related to pregnancy and improve overall sense of control.

"Our findings suggest that moderate resistance exercise is suitable during pregnancy," said Karolina Petrov Fieril, a physical therapist who conducts research at Sahlgrenska Academy, in a news release. "Women who engaged in resistance exercise experienced improved wellbeing, relief of pregnancy discomfort (poor posture, fatigue, headache, nausea, insomnia and back pain) and greater sense of control."

Fieril's PhD thesis focused on the effects or resistance exercise throughout pregnancy by means of both quantitative studies and interviews.

"Women who engaged in resistance exercise experienced improved wellbeing, relief of pregnancy discomfort (poor posture, fatigue, headache, nausea, insomnia and back pain) and greater sense of control," Fieril added.

More specially, her thesis examined the effect of both aerobics and a resistance exercise session of both heart rate and blood pressure. "We found that these vital signs were equally affected and within safe values by both types of exercise," Fieril says.

Exercise can play an important part in a healthy pregnancy. However, certain guidelines may apply regarding exercise depending on the health of the individual, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For instance, a physically active woman who also has a history of or risk for preterm labor or fetal growth restriction should be advised to reduce her activity in the second and third trimesters. Previously inactive women and those with medical or obstetric complications should also be evaluated before recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy are made.

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